Century Gardens officially reopens after extensive redevelopment
The City of Calgary officially reopened Century Gardens urban park (826 8 Ave. S.W.) today after a redevelopment that added two new pavilion buildings (with a public washroom and the opportunity for a food concession), a wood amphitheater and a new central splash pad. The project also included upgrades to the heritage waterfalls, restored and repositioned public art sculptures, wider park entrances and increased route options to and from the C-Train platform.
Originally built in 1975 to celebrate Calgary’s Centennial, the park’s mechanical and electrical equipment, and some above-ground features, had exceeded their life expectancy. The City used the lifecycle upgrades as an opportunity to invigorate the park, making it more inviting and appealing to a wider range of users. Historical features within the park were also enhanced and protected.
The redevelopment has created a space for Calgarians to enjoy in any season whether stopping by for lunch, cooling off on a hot day, checking out the public art or just relaxing and reading a book.
“More Calgarians than ever are looking for parks and green space to enjoy. People have been waiting for this day, so today is a great day to be able to reopen one of the most important parks downtown; giving people even more choices when they are looking for places to reconnect, reflect or relax outdoors,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We’re pleased to have been able to preserve many of the park’s historic features while adding contemporary elements that make the park more open, welcoming and safe for Calgarians living and working downtown.”
The fountains and water in the original park design are symbolic of the area’s mountains and rivers and The City recognized the importance of preserving these unique features in the redesign. Restoring these elements is a great example of heritage conservation in Calgary. The concept for the site redevelopment was created with extensive public engagement and the project was entirely funded by The City. The final cost for the full project was $16 million over a 12-year period.
“I’m excited to have Century Gardens open for Calgarians to enjoy,” said Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley. “I want to thank citizens both for their input into the new design as well as their patience over the term of the redevelopment. The pandemic has shown how important parks and open space are and I look forward to seeing this park being enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for years to come.”
“Century Gardens has traditionally offered a place to connect and a reprieve from the bustling downtown scene”, said Kyle Ripley, Director for Calgary Parks. “The park redevelopment will bring that sense of reprieve to life for a new generation of park users while adding vibrancy to the downtown core, which is an important piece of the economic recovery of the area.”
Century Gardens is open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the splash pad operational from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer.
More information on the project can be found on the Century Gardens redevelopment page